Binh Dinh (VNA) – The Center for Supporting Community Development Initiative (SCDI) held a workshop on November 23 in the south central coastal province of Binh Dinh to seek ways to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community’s access to health care services.

The event, which saw the participation of 500 members from the country’s LGBT association, also aimed to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment and provide knowledge about hepatitis B virus (HBV) and reproductive health, and tuberculosis.

With a new dedicated centre for the LGBT community established in June, people who need counselling now have a place to go. Though it is based in HCM City, the centre will offer advice to anyone in the country.

Patients in the LGBT community and those who have HIV can call the centre to receive counselling and monitoring of their health while taking hormones or after sex-change surgery performed outside the country.

The agreement to cooperate to provide counselling services was recently signed between the Men’s Health Center and G-Link, a social enterprise providing comprehensive health care and communication to improve society’s awareness of transgender women and men who have sex with men.

The clinic will offer free counselling about therapy, examinations and treatments, all of which will be offered at low cost, to the LGBT community and people diagnosed with HIV. Foreigners who live and work in the country can also access the services.

The Ministry of Health estimates that Vietnam has 270,000 to 300,000 people who want to have transition to another gender.
As part of the country’s Civil Code issued in 2015, the Law on Civil Status addresses gender transition rights and the definition of transgender people.

Accordingly, individuals who have gone through gender transition have rights and responsibility to register their gender change.

“They have the right to redefine gender in case of congenital defects or indeterminate sex at birth and have medical intervention,” according to a provision in the current Law on Civil Status.-VNA